Up in the air, strapped to a chair

Beautiful sea sunset by Tomt6788

Each and every medium of transport carries its advantages and disadvantages. Here John Hillman urges you to get on a boat, because quite simply it is the most wonderful form of them all.


As a frequent business traveller I find most journeys tend to leave me feeling rather like an eight year old child in the back of my mother’s car

The “are we there yet?” gene is a strong and robust one, and no matter how many times we treat ourselves to another coffee, cake, beer or sandwich, the fact is that given the choice most of us would prefer to use the Starship Enterprise ‘beam me up Scotty’ mode of transport, and forgo the whole ‘waiting to arrive’ chore altogether.

But as this is not possible, we must look to the available options and decide which one will help us to arrive in the best frame of mind and in the shortest time possible.

Unfortunately ‘shortest time possible’ and ‘best frame of mind’ are a couple that you’re unlikely to meet celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary on a P&O Cruise.

The simple fact is that if you want to get to the continent in a hurry then most people will opt for the cramped, stressful option, and take to the sky; thus ensuring that they arrive at their destination tired, dehydrated and (usually in my case) suffering from a mild case of IBS, but is this really wise?

With British airports in the news so much and BAA being told to break up its monopoly on its South East’s airports, because this was leading to an inadequate passenger experience, there has surely never been a better time to consider the pleasures of reaching the continent aboard a P&O ferry?

Ask most people this question and they immediately react by stating the time factor, but let’s face it: time is the enemy of productivity. Whenever we structure our lives around a clock we soon end up going through the motions like a burnt out functionless droid, bereft of the essential juices that spark our creative energies and produce our best thinking.

The benefits of reaching the continent by ferry are so vast, so magnificent in their numerousness, that the limp and pathetic argument of saving time quickly starts to look like the defensive ramblings of a disconnected madman.

On board a P&O ferry a person can relax, work, exercise and rest, giving them space to think and time to reflect. Whereas on an aeroplane you are, quite literally, strapped into a chair and controlled, watered and fed like a small baby. On board a ship you can wonder the decks at will, sit in the comfort of the lounge and do bit of work on the laptop, or get some inspiration by gazing at the incredible force of nature that is the English Channel.

You do all of this relaxed in the knowledge that your belongings are exactly where you left them, safely locked in the boot of your car below, not waltzing around a carousel in Mumbai. And let’s not underestimate the fact that you arrive equipped with your own transport, no tricky negotiations with continental taxi drivers for you, just the freedom of the open road.

The truth is that that not all of us can chose how we travel, many of us are put on planes by bosses and sent to remote airports on board bargain bucket airlines with as much say in the matter as a turkey has at Christmas.

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